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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Darkfall: Warhulks

Posted by Paragus1 Thursday May 21 2009 at 7:44AM
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Darkfall: Warhulks

Today I am going to finally be talking about one of the most requested topics from my readers, Warhulks.  Warhulks are the hover-tank looking siege weapons that many of us saw in the hype videos before the game went live.  It's been almost 3 months, but finally the first of these war machines have shown up on the battlefield, and I was fortunate enough to be there to see them in action.

Warhulks are basically heavy duty siege weapons that are land-based, and in many ways works how the ships do on the water.  There are 4 different types of warhulks that vary in size and cannon types.  The warhulk I was able to see in action is called a Vileforge, which seems to be viewed as the most powerful of the 4 types and the hardest to make in terms of skill and cost.  It has taken almost 3 months for the server to actually see anyone be able to build these machines, and I will try to explain a bit about why this has been the case.

To build a warhulk, you must first purchase the specific crafting skill which costs 15,000 gold, just like the shipbuilding and artillery (cannon) skills.  All 3 of those expensive crafting skills can all be bought from advance blacksmiths which can be found in many of the clan cities all over the world.  The main holdup was the fact that in the same way a warship has to be built in a shipyard, the warhulks require a special building of their own called a foundry.  Up until a day or two ago, nobody was able to find a city that had a foundry as a building option, and get together the 2,000 building modules needed to construct it in the city.  The Mercs, who some of you may remember from my warship writeup, recently took over a city that had the ability to build a foundry.  They constructed the foundry as quickly as possible and now have a new threat to unleash onto the battlefield.  Needless to say, many of their enemies are not happy with them having this capability.

So let's take a look at the layout of the Vileforge.  The main deck has 4 main weapons that can be controlled.  There are 2 normal cannons that act exactly like those found on warships.  The driver actually sits in a cannon chair that points directly ahead, and the other cannon is located in the opposite position facing directly in the rear.  The Vileforge also comes equipped with 2 flame cannons which mirror those found on some city towers.  The flame cannons are opposite of each other and located on the left and right sides in relation to the driver position.  While the front and rear cannons do similar damage to those found on ships, the flame cannons create a large fire which does around 20 damage a tick to anyone or anything caught in the fire that lingers after it shoots.  The range on the flame cannons is substantially less than the normal cannons, which means for the warhulk to really shine it needs to get relatively close to the structure.  The normal cannons which have decent range also are capable of damaging structures, it just takes a lot longer.

The main deck was a bit larger than I thought it would be as well.  At a glance I didn't think it would hold that many people, but once I climbed on board I was a little surprised.  There is probably enough room on there for 10 Mahirim if I had to guess, and I'm sure you could fit more at the cost of some breathing room.  Much like the warships, you have to climb up a ladder mechanism to get on board.  There were 2 ladders on the Vileforge that were located opposite of each other, but despite this, some naked Alfar managed to get on board somehow, making for a very tight and awkward fight for us as the largest race in the game. I am sure smaller races will be able to fit quite a bit more people onto one of these things than we were able to.

The Vileforge seemed to travel at a speed that was comparable to that of a sprinting player, but not as fast as a mount.  The main issue seemed to be with the steering and handling capabilities as the driver had a lot of difficulty getting a handle on maneuvering it around.  The turning speed in general seemed to be very slow, especially when the Vileforge was at a dead stop.  It seemed that once we started moving forward that turning became a bit easier.  The other major issue in this area is that even though the machine hovers off the ground a bit, it seems to have an issue with constantly hitting obstacles.  It seemed that when people were around the base that it would prevent the machine from moving in certain directions.  This can be especially annoying because in many situations this thing is going to be escorted and accompanied by ground support, and being obstructed by your own forces and escorts can lead to a frustrating situation.

This definitely marks a milestone in terms of warfare in Agon in general.  As time goes on and the server matures, I am sure more people will start to get foundry access and delve into warhulks adding yet another dynamic to the way sieges and wars will be fought.  I will be very interested in seeing the other 3 types in action and see how they differ from the Vileforge in terms of damage and size.

 EDIT: Video of this warhulk from this night can be found HERE.

Paragus
Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.com

 

sanedor writes:

Though i really think DF is a joke, i did want to see this ship, but the pictures are very dark, have anything a bit better ? I will say that when i first read Df's list of things i was very happy, but now that it's two men and a stick< add a warhulk lol> i just feel the game lied.. but please post pictures that we can see pls..

Thu May 21 2009 7:55AM Report
LynxJSA writes:

The pictures are kinda dark, but the article is great. Your blog is slowl becoming one of the best sources of DF information.

Thu May 21 2009 7:59AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

It was night time in the game coming onto sunrise when all of this went down, so I had to work with it.  Every screenshot I got is in this article either as the pictures, or the clickable text that will take you to a few others.

Thu May 21 2009 8:02AM Report
Morite writes:

awesome, I want one too..

Thu May 21 2009 8:08AM Report
kazamx writes:

So we have now seen basic ships and warhulks in game. I want to see one of the massive rafts.

Thu May 21 2009 8:29AM Report
mordekai writes:

kazamx

http://www.afraidyet.net/forums/news/90129-ships-boats-pirates.html

Thu May 21 2009 8:45AM Report
DarkPony writes:

Nice, great too see how this game develops. And I love how the limited availability of crafting requirements turns out; having to actually conquer another city to be able to build something new makes the reward to finally have one even bigger.

I hope they fix the terain clipping issues, though. as well as that slow turn speed you wrote about.

Nice write up, Paragus.

Thu May 21 2009 9:20AM Report
xzyax writes:

Wasn't there a video close to a month ago with someone attacking with a WarHulk?

Just curious, as from the article it makes it sound like this was the very first instance of the WarHulks seeing the light of day.

 

Anyway, good to see some info on them.  I personally think DarkFall would be better off making WarHulks and the larger Ships a LOT easier to make.

As it is now, the majority of players will never get a chance to own one.  Even for those that can make them are not sure they are worth the time and materials to construct.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how the next few months play out.

Thu May 21 2009 9:21AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

The warhulk in that video was obtained through very questionable means, but let us say I do not think it was legitimately crafted, and it definitely wasn't used in a real combat situation.   I won't go into details regarding that hulk here because I don't have any visual proof to backup the claim.

I'd like to see these sort of things be more accessable as well, and maybe down the line they will be.   They (boats and hulks) are one of the more interesting and unique aspects to the game that I have seen.  In the larger scheme of things, the game is still in its infancy, so I'm sure as time goes on things like this won't be as big of a deal.

Thu May 21 2009 9:30AM Report
Aramanu writes:

Nice write up as usual, Paragus (if you don't mind me asking) how much did you sell your hamlet for?

Thu May 21 2009 10:01AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I think we sold it for 30,000 gold, my co-leader handled the sale of it.  The cost for someone else to siege it was only around 20,000 gold, considering we are not in a big alliance and were getting sick of worrying about the hamlet, it just made a lot of sense for us to go that route.   We can't take the hamlet with us if an NA server opens down the road, but the skills and imrpovements to our characters the money can buy us we can (assuming if there are transfers).

Since selling the hamlet, we have been doing merc work ourselves and many of my guys are enjoying this new path we are going down.

Thu May 21 2009 10:16AM Report
Whitewalker writes:

Thanks again Paragus...looking forward to seeing one in game. Just hope it's not against us.

Thu May 21 2009 11:00AM Report
volstagg writes:

Good read!

Thu May 21 2009 12:15PM Report
wyrdaskolir writes:

 I can't believe that we couldn't take that warhulk :( Our whole alliance was called to come to the battlefield and attempt to steal it but we couldn't.

Thu May 21 2009 1:44PM Report
Regnorok writes:

I love how you guys were spamming race chat for everyone to come because there was a "free warhulk".

Thu May 21 2009 3:55PM Report
osamar writes:

If I read well, you can just build a Foundary in some cities only?

Fri May 22 2009 5:24AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

Not all cities are equal.   Different cities have access to certain buildings and resources that others do not.

Fri May 22 2009 7:50AM Report
rhinok writes:

 "Very nice write-up. Thanks Paragus1.

Question: You said "All 3 of those expensive crafting skills can all be bought from advance blacksmiths which can be found in many of the clan cities all over the world" So, you can only buy advanced crafting skills from clan cities? I haven't touched crafting yet, other than basic harvesting, so I really don't know how it works.

~Ripper

Fri May 22 2009 9:32AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

That is correct.   There are actually a lot of skills that can only be bought in clan cities that a lot of players may not be aware of.   As an example, there are skills to raise your maximum stats like Vitality, that have a prereq of high vitality and survivalist.

As far as crafting goes though, only those 3 skills require you to find special vendors.

Fri May 22 2009 9:52AM Report
blooblob writes:

Reading your blog has made me want to buy Darkfall. Now I finally did and will be palying shortly.

Wed May 27 2009 11:58AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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